Letters

Has he listened to Source Tags & Codes, one of the most critically acclaimed (by indie mags and folk generally knowledgeable about music) records of 2002? I'd like to hear his justification for placing them alongside Good Charlotte and pure derivative crap like AFI. Just curious.

Daniel Johnson
Oslo, Norway


BURNING BUSH

Re Sydney H. Schanberg's "Bush's Ever Shifting Absolutes" [April 2-8]:

Every single American should read this over and over again!

The administration's lies, deceit, and coercion combined with a tyrannical reckless burning of our Constitution all leading to an illegal occupation of a foreign country should be enough to remove them all from office.

I am totally ashamed of these people and we all should realize just how we got where we are. Should the eventual evidence show that the whole idea of weapons of mass destruction was a sham all along, what could possibly keep the war party going?

Michael Anfinson
San Clemente, California


BEST WESTERN

Re Joshua Clover's "In No One's Army" [April 16-22]:

Clover truly captures what we're feeling here on the West Coast, particularly in San Francisco and the surrounding area, and the sadness we're all plagued by in hearing from our friends elsewhere that protest does no good. Here, I think many of us have realized it's not about changing the hearts and minds of our politicians or of the people "out there." Things have already gone too far for that. Instead, it's about regaining a bit of our sanity, reclaiming our right to see our vision of the world take form for a moment, and sometimes transforming our collective consciousness in the process.

I wish everyone could have been in San Francisco for the marches. I'm no professional activist, but I have never before experienced anything quite like it.

Robert Mauksch
Pacific Grove, California


CROUCHING STANLEY . . .

Re Daniel King's "Hanging The Judge" [May 14-20]:

You'd think that after the Voice's history with Stanley Crouch, Daniel King would know better than to defend this racist phony. Yet in "Hanging the Judge," poor Stanley gets to paint himself the victim of the malicious white establishment. Shades of Clarence Thomas . . .

Crouch's claim that white critics—out of some twisted love-hate relationship with blacks—promote inferior white musicians is too silly to even bother responding to. There is indeed an unfortunate racial dynamic at work in jazz today, but it's got nothing to do with the likes and dislikes of jazz critics—unless the critic happens to be Crouch.

King would rather trot out the old, tired racial battles than address the real problem with Crouch's "Putting the White Man in Charge" column, which is that Crouch libeled jazz critic Francis Davis. Crouch pointed to Davis's book Like Young, saying that it shows Davis to be one of those cringing white critics who just can't deal with the black experience. But—as Davis disclosed in his appropriately dismissive letter to the editor—Crouch provided no evidence for his charge, most likely because there wasn't any.

That's pretty shoddy journalism, and Jazz Times never should have let the Crouch screed get into print. But Crouch does that kind of thing all the time.

In the '70s, Crouch and Davis were on the same page, writing about the great black music that in my book constituted the last great burst of creativity in jazz in this country. Now Crouch discusses that music—if he ever bothers mentioning it at all—as something from which Wynton Marsalis had to save the world.

No doubt JazzTimes has boosted its circulation because of the controversies Crouch has caused with his inane pandering and shameless slanders. Now they've finally gotten rid of him. Good riddance.

David Rubien
San Francisco, California


. . . HIDDEN AGENDA?

Re "Hanging The Judge":

On behalf of JazzTimes, I wanted to correct a few inaccuracies and missed notes in the piece on Stanley Crouch. JazzTimes did not receive any pressure or threats from advertisers concerning Crouch's column. Also, his last column was not "Putting the White Man in Charge" but rather a profile of Eric Reed. We didn't discontinue his column because of what he wrote in "Putting the White Man in Charge." We ended it because the column had become tedious, and we could no longer ignore his conflicts of interest, his many missed deadlines, or his belligerence and vitriol.

This is neither the first nor the only column we have discontinued. Columns by Martin Williams, Ira Gitler, and Chip Stern, among others, have been discontinued during the last 13 years (and all but the deceased Williams still contribute to the magazine). Crouch's claims of racism are spurious. In addition, freelancers come and go from the masthead of the magazine fairly fluidly. I would estimate that we have replaced more than 50 writers since 1990, and in nearly every case it was because of their performance (though many left of their own accord). None of their exits have received the attention that former Voice contributor Crouch has.

King's self-serving reference to himself as the new generation aside, the editors of JazzTimes and Down Beat are not old boys at all. Christopher Porter is 33 and Jason Koransky is 28. King also mistakenly attributed a prepared statement from the magazine as a direct quote from Porter. King also stated that "Decades have passed since 1961, the year Leonard Feather called John Coltrane 'anti-jazz.' " In fact, it was Don DeMicheal who called Coltrane "anti-jazz."

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